Sunday, September 24, 2006

Chicken Stock for Cheaters

Before she had her beautiful baby girl Kat, Barbara wrote a most excellent and inspiring post on the making of chicken stock over at Tigers & Strawberries. It's chock full of beautiful pictures of the cooking of the chicken feet, bones, and aromatics, the straining of the broth, and the beautiful golden glowing finished stock all lined up in neat little containers all ready for the freezer.

Now I have dreams about stock. I'd love to spend all day making chicken, beef, and vegetable stocks so I can always have some home-made waiting in the freezer for whenever I need it. But the reality is that I will probably never do it. I have neither the time nor the space to really do it justice. So I just make what I call Chicken Stock for Cheaters. It's a quick way to get a tasty base for soups and stews.

Basically, I just take some chicken, usually dark meat (lately I've been using the breast for Chicken Tikka Masala), and throw it into the stock pot with about two quarts of water. I season it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and bring it to a boil, skim it, then lower the heat, cover and let it cook for about an hour. I take out the meat and cut it up for salads and casseroles. I use some right away and put the rest in the freezer. Then I just take the broth, strain it, and voila! Instant chicken stock.

I let the stock sit in the refrigerator overnight so the fat can rise and set. Then I take a spoon and scoop it off. I put the de-fatted stock back into the pot, bring it back to a boil and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes, just to concentrate the flavors a little bit more. Then I pour it into jars in 1 and 1-1/2 cup portions and put them in the freezer.

It's neither as sexy nor as tasty a process as Barbara's, but it's still a whole lot better than using processed, and it's much easier to do on a regular basis. And it's always good to have some cooked chicken in the freezer. It make for a heck of a good pilaf. Here is what I did with the chicken that was in the pot up above:

It made a lovely lunch.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...